How to Maximize the Benefits of Your Employee Wellness Program
Investment in your employee wellness programs leads to increased health returns when you understand what they can do for your employees. Find out more here.
It has long been established that offering corporate wellness programs to employees brings immense benefits for all stakeholders. According to McKinsey & Company, a healthy working population can give the economy as much as an 8% boost, resulting in a possible increase of $12 trillion in global GDP by 2040. The same report concluded that 70% of the actions for health improvement should happen before a person seeks care, and this is where effective employee wellness comes into play.
Unfortunately, employee engagement and participation are often lacking, which affects the overall outcome of such programs. This is likely due to disconnection between employers and employees, particularly regarding what they think a wellness program is about.
What is an Employee Wellness Program?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a workplace health program can be defined as “a coordinated and comprehensive set of health promotion and protection strategies implemented at the worksite that includes programs, policies, benefits, environmental supports, and links to the surrounding community designed to encourage the health and safety of all employees.”
There is no set standard on wellness programs—and this is a good thing. Different companies will have varying definitions of what a wellness program is. Companies can opt for tailored programs that meet their specific needs and requirements. What’s most important is that these wellness programs benefit the employees, not just the company.
Workplace wellness can refer to promoting a workplace environment that considers employees and all relevant stakeholders’ health and well-being. However, much of a program’s success depends on employee engagement.
How Wellness Programs Can Increase Awareness and Improve Engagement
How do you encourage employees to participate in corporate wellness programs? Here are some ways:
Have a Holistic Approach
It’s a given: healthier employees are more productive. Gallup’s research found that employees who are struggling add more risk to the organization. Since they are more likely to be stressed, productivity can suffer.
Therefore, organizations must ensure their employees are thriving in all important aspects of their lives to better minimize productivity loss. Improving employee well-being can be achieved by developing or enhancing an existing wellness strategy to cover the various components of whole-person or total wellness - emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, spiritual, etc. Better yet, consider developing wellness programs that are tailored based on unique employee well-being needs. Understanding individual needs can be made easy through health risk assessments.
Conduct a Health Risk Assessment (HRA)
Doing a health risk assessment (HRA) gives the company a deeper understanding of their employees' current state of health. Comprehensive HRA's cover psychological, psychosocial, physical, and emotional health. HRA's help employees identify personal health concerns, uncover areas for program intervention and provide baseline data that can later be used to calculate the ROI or VOI of a wellness program.
Assign a dedicated wellness coordinator
Establishing a health and well-being strategy and implementing a wellness program may be a heavy lift for a dedicated HR representative. This is where a wellness coordinator would step in to ensure the success of your programs. They can focus on finding wellness providers that align with your organization's wellness strategy, advertise the program, promote the activities, and evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
Keep it Simple
Wellness programs don't have to be fancy. The simpler they are, the higher the likelihood employees will participate. Extra tasks, such as filling out forms, maintaining exercise records, and syncing data can dissuade many from participating. While these records can help measure the program’s success, employees should not carry the burden.
One way to keep records and still maintain engagement is by using the power of technology. HR teams and wellness coordinators can use the data from tracking devices to analyze engagement rates, assess health improvements from participants, and help curate programs for their employees. Make sure, though, that employees give their consent and that your technology provider ensures their data will only be used for personalizing the programs.
Offer Active Support
Aside from having a dedicated wellness coordinator, providing employees with a health partner can also lead to long-term success. Working with a partner can be crucial for employees to share their progress and challenges. A partner can be a trusted colleague, family member, or even a healthcare professional who can provide feedback, suggestions, and health tips.
In addition to a close support system, employers can also include in-house or platform-integrated awareness sessions with coaches, doctors, and experts to address questions and get in-depth information about the employee wellness program.
Make it Part of Company Culture
To maximize the effectiveness of your employee wellness program, make workplace wellness a component of your company culture.
For instance, a company looking to promote a strong workplace culture for remote employees can include childcare services as part of its wellness offerings. Organizations can provide transportation services for hybrid workplaces when employees need to work on-site.
Having a corporate wellness program means gearing your employees for success. What’s good for employees is good for the company. To improve engagement and ensure employees are connected to your employee wellness program, contact us about creating an effective employee wellness program for you.
About CoreHealth Technologies
CoreHealth Technologies Inc. is a total well-being company trusted by global companies to power their health and wellness programs. Our wellness portals help maximize health, engagement, and productivity for 3+ million employees worldwide. We believe people are the driving force of organizations and supporting them to make behavior changes to improve employee health is in everyone’s best interest. With the most flexibility, customizations, and integrations of any software in its class, CoreHealth’s all-in-one wellness platform helps achieve great wellness outcomes. Simple to sophisticated, based on you. For more information, visit the CoreHealth website.
About The Author
Your Friends in Health at CoreHealth
CoreHealth by Carebook's Health and Wellness Team works hard to bring our readers informative and research validate health and well-being blog articles and resources that support your workplace wellness culture and wellness technology purchase decision.